Urban Coyotes – a real concern for Georgia and Alabama landowners – AND HOMEOWNERS
By Meaghan English, TrueSouth Properties Wildlife Specialist
Wow, it’s hard to believe that November is already here and gun season in Alabama opens up in just a few short days. The brisk weather has encouraged deer movement and I believe this opening weekend is going to be much cooler than last year. But, deer aren’t the only creatures out and about; coyotes have been making appearances more than usual and that is NOT a good sign.
Every day on my commute to and from work, I keep one eye on the road and one eye on the side of the road for elusive wildlife. It is nothing out of the ordinary to see deer and turkeys on the side of highways that run through rural parts of Alabama. However, it is alarming at the coyote sightings that have occurred. I remember growing up, coyotes rarely ever showed their hide during daylight hours. It was always at dawn or dusk, when you could barely make out a figure. You knew it was a coyote by the way they darted across the road or field, with their tail tucked between their legs and their nose to the ground. Back then coyotes weren’t too much of a threat; they kept rabbit and mouse numbers in check and were hardly ever seen in the daytime. If you saw one in the daytime, it was rumored that that particular canine was suffering from rabies. Personally, I feel that those days are long gone and coyotes are a SEVERE threat. Not only do I see coyotes during the daytime now, I see several of them. And they aren’t sticking to their rural roots; they have invited themselves into neighborhoods and heavily populated areas. Once they get to these areas, they help themselves to people’s pets and cause a great amount of heartache and grief. This leads me to believe that the coyote population is out of control. No longer are the days where we only had to worry about a coyote’s impact on small mammals or fawns, we now have to worry about our pets and how comfortable these canines are with human contact. The most recent pet attacks have happened in Mobile, AL. I don’t know about ya’ll, but that’s a little too close to home for me.
The urban sprawl of coyotes is a sure sign that their numbers are way up. It is pertinent that coyotes are managed heavily and effectively on hunting and recreational land. I know that there is an increase in daytime sightings because there is an increase in the coyote population as a whole.
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